Developed for international students, the Two Year Master's in International Social Policy MA provides an introduction to high-level academic study leading to a recognised postgraduate qualification.
You gain a clear, confident and advanced understanding of the subject while receiving intensive coaching in academic study and writing. Language and study support are also given in the first year to help you achieve your full potential.
The skills you develop on this programme include critical thinking, data analysis and presentation of key findings as well as transferable skills such as time management, IT and problem solving.
Studying the pathway of International Social Policy enables you to apply theories and methods of comparative social policy in exploring specific fields such as health, migration, pensions, education, social care, poverty and social exclusion, urban development and family policy. You learn advanced research techniques becoming equipped to think critically about the development of social welfare systems in a global age.
Knowledge and understanding
You will gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the structures, registers and varieties of English to a level sufficient for you to be successful on a University of Kent postgraduate degree programme;
- the inter-disciplinary nature of academic skills in Social Sciences;
- academic literacy and skills - in particular, the use of English for academic purposes;
- contemporary activities and organisation of the main institutions of the UK welfare systems, including the provision, financing and regulation of social security, education, health and social care, and housing;
- operation and impact of non-governmental sources of welfare including the informal, voluntary and private sectors, and of how these interact within mixed economies of welfare;
- ways in which other countries organise their social policies and welfare institutions;
- the key concepts and theories of welfare, including human needs and social welfare; inequality, poverty and exclusion; citizenship, social difference and diversity; theories of the state and policy making; theories and methods of comparative analysis
- how different social groups and individuals experience, respond to and contest social policies;
- the political economy of welfare and how values and principles are related to political and economic interests;
- the strengths, weaknesses and uses of social research and research methods.
You develop intellectual skills in:
- critical reflection;
- discussing and undertaking written and interpretative analysis of key material;
- presenting, evaluating and interpreting a variety of data using defined techniques in a logical and systematic fashion;
- problem-solving: social policy encourages imagination and flexibility in seeking solutions to social problems;
- research: discovering information, manipulating data and discovering their meaning;
- evaluation and analysis: summarising and analysing arguments, reports, documents and other written and verbal data;
- sensitivity to the values and interests of others: self-reflection, listening and interacting with others, and taking account of your own normative and moral positions in order to understand how human needs are experienced and met.
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- description and basic analysis;
- distinguishing between some of the core theories, concepts and approaches in social policy;
- understanding and evaluating data derived from social surveys and other research publications;
- understanding and evaluating investigations on social questions and problems;
- understanding research methods and commenting on research evidence.
You will gain the following transferable skills:
- team and independent working: collaborating effectively as part of a team and in group activity for a common goal; the ability to work with others; independent working and study skills;
- communication skills: presenting material in written and oral form; making effective and appropriate forms of visual presentation; understanding the dynamics of communication;
- critical thinking: critically evaluating and reflecting on your own and others' opinions; analysing and critically examining material as well as identifying and describing problems;
- research: understanding and evaluating research material, including qualitative and quantitative data; processing information (reading) and using libraries;
- IT/ICT: making effective and appropriate use of IT/ICT both for communication and as a means of learning;
- planning and time management: planning effectively, meeting deadlines and managing your own learning.
This programme aims to:
- prepare you for the academic challenges of postgraduate study in SSPSSR;
- offer a range of modules that provide a solid grounding for further study at Master’s level in the UK;
- develop academic and research skills in Social Science degrees taught through Social Sciences;
- increase your proficiency in English for general academic purposes and for study in SSPSSR to a standard which is equivalent to C1 on CEFR or 6.5 in IELTS;
- enable you, on completion, to study successfully alongside others who have completed a full UK Social Sciences degree;
- enable you to develop their independent study and research skills in the context of postgraduate study associated with SSPSSR.